Sometimes we need to stay present and positive, lest we miss the forest for the trees.
First, I managed to do something to tweak by distal biceps tendon in my right arm.
While warming up for deadlifts.
It’s one thing to get hurt, but to get hurt with 315lbs on the bar, when you haven’t even gotten to work sets yet, is just infuriating. I spent a week with no pulling exercises and a multitude of rehab drills, trying to stay positive.
Next, during a practical massage class where I was being used as a demo model, the instructor noted that my 5th metatarsal was out of place and popped it back in. This was a good thing, in that this one adjustment seemed to alleviate most of the hip, back pain I have been keeping at bay for years with mobility drills and corrective exercise. However, I had to almost “regroove” my entire squat pattern due to the fact that I was moving completely differently (which tends to happen when a leg length discrepancy vanishes, basically, overnight).
This meant less weight. This meant frustration. This mean more negativity creeping in.
Sadly, I almost managed to miss the forest for the trees, which is something I constantly remind my clients NOT to do.
Too many times we get caught up in the negative details of life and training: we focus on the missed lift attempts, the acute injuries and issues, and the workouts that just got the best of us. In the process, we tend to overlook many small victories – successes that can generate momentum and keep us moving forward.
In the process of being frustrated with my biceps and foot, I almost overlooked the following things:
- I have been dieting now for 2 months with 100% compliance. I have been within 5% of Macros each day…consistently…this has never happened this long for me. (You can read about this in my blog at CHP)
- 5.5″ is gone from my waist.
- So is 23lbs of (mostly) fat.
- During this diet I have still maintained strength enough to bench 335lbs relatively easily.
- By adding Front Squats to my workout, a movement that I had ALWAYS avoided, I am managing to set a PR every time I touch the bar. Yes, I’m starting from basically nothing, but a PR is a PR, and I feel the excitement that a new trainee feels when the improvements come each workout. 250lbs x 3?! Yep, the weight is light, but it has been YEARS since I have experienced linear progression in a movement, and I am taking advantage of this.
- Throughout this period I have also managed to juggle EIGHT classes, and excel in all of them.
There is a lesson to be learned here, and my training in Sport Psychology doesn’t exempt me from this: Don’t Miss The Forest For The Trees!
This ties into the reason that I preach about embracing the journey and learning to focus on Process Goals. Look, I still have a competitive nature – I’m a driven human being with an Ego and a desire to perform. However, if I choose to not stay vigilant, it can be very easy for me to get caught up in numbers and performance and miss all of the other little (and sometimes big) things that I have accomplished throughout the process. All of these things add up to really big successes, and the successes contribute to making me a better person, both in the gym and out of the gym.
As much as I want to be the best at things, my primary goal is to make sure that I end each day a big better than I was when I woke up that morning. During many dark times in my life, I have missed the forest for the trees and found myself feeling like a failure when I was simply neglecting to see all of the progress I had made in other areas that are equally as important.
If I’m at all good as a coach, it is because I have made so many mistakes that I can work to ensure my clients don’t do the same things.
My advice here: don’t let a few rotten or fallen trees ruin the landscape that is your forest…there are plenty of beautiful leaves and branches you are walking by.
Pay attention to them.
Take them in.